Behind the Box: Small Business Saturday Edition

Did you know that many Cratejoy subscription boxes are run as side businesses by regular folks with a passion and particular expertise? Yes, the side hustle is alive and well, including on the Cratejoy Marketplace!

In honor of Small Business Saturday this year, we’re taking an in-depth look at 3 new small businesses on the Marketplace, all launched in the last two months. Learn how Pink Package, Fikabröd, and Japan in the Box got their start -- and what motivates them to run a side business like a subscription box in the first place.

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Pink Package

Founder Katy Smith came up with the idea for Pink Package, a care package for loved ones who need support during hard times, from her own experience. At the age of 33, she was diagnosed with a very rare form of breast cancer. “I was overwhelmed with gratitude by those who stayed with me throughout my breast cancer journey,” Katy says. “I know there were many more who were thinking of me, but didn’t know what to say or do.”

If that’s you right now, Pink Package is a way to show that you care and support the person struggling when you don’t have the words to express how you feel. “We believe that people inherently want to help when challenges strike, but rarely know what to say or do. Pink Package takes that hesitation away,” Katy explains. “I wanted to create a light from what could have been a very dark experience and help others in the process.”

Though Team Pink Package is made up of cancer survivors, this gift isn’t only intended for loved ones dealing with cancer. Katy hopes that customers use Pink Package to “send doses of encouragement” to your loved one “so that she has something to uplift her spirits during a difficult journey – whether it be health-, work-, relationship- or loss-related.” To that end, Pink Package offers two subscription options: the Encouragement Box, specifically geared to women going through chemotherapy and curated by cancer survivors, and the Inspiration Box, intended for women going through a challenging time in their lives more generally. When sourcing products, Katy says, “We consult with national support groups and leading physicians to ensure that [all] items we put into our box align with our mission and values.”

Both box options are curated to be a well-rounded self-care experience each and every month, from journals and inspirational exercises to jewelry, artwork, wellness products, and beauty items from independent artisans and makers. To take a closer look at what Pink Package has to offer, check out their listing here.

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Fikabröd

When Becky Clutter’s best friend and beloved dog -- Preston, a basset hound -- passed away, she turned to baking to heal. Enter Fikabröd, her new baking-inspired subscription box. “In the kitchen,” her husband tells us, “Becky found some joy again, and she wanted to help others do the same.” Because for Becky, baking’s not about the food itself (though that’s certainly tasty) -- it’s about “an expression of creativity, a show of love, a moment to relax.”

As one of her creative outlets, Becky spends a lot of time experimenting with new flavors and techniques in the kitchen. “Personally, I love being ‘forced’ to bake in order to test out new ingredients, tools, and the like,” she says. So Fikabröd specializes in bringing gourmet and hard-to-find ingredients straight to you, as well as “fun baking-related goodies” like cute patterned socks, supplies and more. “With Fikabröd, we hope to encourage bakers of all skill levels to experiment in the kitchen by providing them with interesting ingredients and tools.”

Keep in mind, however, that Fikabröd is a new kind of baking box: it’s designed for people who already love baking and are eager to explore that creatively, not beginners looking for a predetermined recipe. Most subscription boxes for bakers “are baking kits designed for beginners or people who just want to bake super quickly,” Becky notes. In contrast, Fikabröd is for those who already have their go-to recipes, who are more interested in experimenting on their own to expand their existing repertoire. “Fikabröd includes a variety of ingredients, baking decor, and tools,” Becky says, as “the point is to get folks excited and experimenting in the kitchen with unique, high-quality items.”

To read more about Fikabröd’s unique curation of luxe baking-inspired goods -- and start your baking journey today -- take a look here.

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Japan in the Box

Johana Oshiro, the founder of new beauty and self-care box Japan in the Box, has a very personal connection to the culture of that country. Though she was born and raised in Peru, her heritage is also Japanese. So “three years ago, I moved to Tokyo and fell in love with Japan, the culture, the nature, the people, [and] the language,” Johana says. She wanted to share the culture (and amazing self-care brands) of Japan with others, but language barriers made that less accessible to the rest of the world. Then it occurred to her that a subscription would allow her to share her culture with others with ease.

“I am hoping to bring the beauty of Japan to everyone's door by introducing high-quality products that will make the perfect pamper session possible,” Johana says. Each month of Japan in the Box is curated carefully to create a holistic self-care experience in the authentic spirit of Japan. “Japanese beauty and wellness culture resides in bathing daily for cleansing and relaxation, drinking tea, being mindful, and caring for the little details that make a difference,” she says. “These daily rituals are cherished traditions to help restore and rejuvenate [one’s] body and mind.” To recreate this effect each month, Johana has an extensive R&D process. First, “I source my products in specialty stores, gift stores and boutiques in Japan.” Then all products under consideration enter a stronger testing phase: “I usually run tests among Japanese and foreign friends, and only products that please both groups get into the box,” she explains.

Why? Authenticity. If it’s not a product that born-and-raised Japanese consumers would use, it doesn’t make the cut. “I really want them to get immersed into the beauty of Japan when they open the box,” Johana says thoughtfully, “and be able to spend a relaxing time feeling like they are in a hot spring in Japan through high-quality products.”

For December’s box, she has created a spa day at home. To learn more, take a sneak peek here.